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Events, gatherings and activities
The Government has introduced stricter national infection control measures, see government.no for the current recommendations and regulation changes. The measures will last as long as they are needed, and the situation will be continuously assessed.
The municipalities can introduce stricter measures locally, based on the infection situation. Check the website of your municipality for information about local measures.
This article describes
- recommendations and requirement for events,
- how the risk of transmission at events and gatherings can be evaluated and which measures to reduce risk are appropriate.
The advice is general and should be considered together with the current regulations and the recommendations from the Directorate of Health.
The Government recommends that events that gather people from different municipalities should be postponed or canceled. See Overview of national measures (government.no).
Number restrictions at events and gatherings. (It must be possible to keep a distance of 1 metre for all types of gatherings)
Type of gathering / event
Private gatherings in own home
Up to 5 guests in addition to those who live in the home
Children in childcare centres and primary school can invite from their own cohort.
Private gatherings in a public place or in rented or borrowed premises
Indoors: Up to 10 people
Outdoors: Up to 20 people
Birthday party, wedding, baptism, funeral, company party etc.
Children in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school can meet with the necessary amount of adults as arrangers.
Indoor events without fixed designated seats
Up to 10 people
Up to 50 people at an indoor sports event for athletes under the age of 20 who belong to a sports team in the same municipality.
Parent meetings at school, member meetings, courses, local concerts / performances, sports events, conferences, indoor markets and trade fairs
Indoor events with fixed designated seats
Up to 100 people
Cinema, opera, concert, theatre, conference etc.
Outdoor events without fixed designated seats
Up to 200 people
Sports events, outdoor concerts, outdoor markets and trade fairs, pop-up concerts, etc.
Outdoor events with fixed designated seats
Up to 600 people, in groups of up to 200 people (assumes at least 2 metres distance between the groups)
Sports events, outdoor concerts, etc.
Gatherings in private homes
This advice applies both indoors and outdoors.
In private homes, gardens or cabins, there should not be more than 5 guests in addition to household members. If all the guests come from the same household, you can be more, but you must still be able to keep your distance.
For such gatherings, the following should apply:
- sick people do not participate, even if they have only mild symptoms
- the room is large enough for guests to stay 1 metre away if they are not from the same household or equivalent
- guests can wash their hands or use hand disinfectants if needed
Children in childcare or primary school cohorts can have visits from their own cohort, so that the entire cohort can be invited home, for example, for a child's birthday party.
Everyone is recommended to reduce their total number of contacts, so that you are with fewer people in social settings, for a shorter time and not with too many different people during a week.
By events, the regulations refer to the following gatherings in public places or in premises and outdoor areas that are rented or borrowed, including hotels, community centres, assembly halls and conference halls:
- sporting events, including tournaments, cups and matches, but not organised training or training matches
- cultural events, including concerts, exhibition openings, opera, ballet, theatre and cinema, but not organised training, rehearsals or exams
- seminars, conferences, courses, member meetings and other professional gatherings, including dining without serving of alcohol, but not meetings or gatherings that are part of ordinary work or education at school or university
- religious and non-religious gatherings and ceremonies, including weddings, funerals, christenings and confirmations
- exhibitions and temporary markets, but not flea markets to raise money for voluntary organisations
- private gatherings; gatherings for family, friends and acquaintances or social gatherings related to work or school, including events or ceremonies, parties and dining with serving of alcohol related to seminars, conferences, courses and other professional gatherings.
Number of participants at private gatherings (indoors and outdoors)
For private gatherings there can be up to 10 guests indoors and up to 20 participants outdoors. Private gatherings are where family, friends and acquaintances, school pupils or colleagues can gather in social events (e.g. birthday parties, baptisms, weddings, school balls or work parties) in a public place or in rented or borrowed premises. Children from the same cohort at childcare centre or primary school can meet outside the home with the necessary number of adults to supervise.
Number of participants at other events (indoors and outdoors)
It is allowed with events in a public place for up to:
- 10 people indoors where the audience does not sit in fixed designated seats. Up to 50 people at an indoor sports event for athletes under the age of 20 who belong to sports teams in the same municipality
- 200 people indoors where everyone in the audience sits in fixed designated seats
- 200 people outdoors where the audience does not sit in fixed designated seats
- 600 people outdoors where the audience sits in fixed designated seats, divided into groups / cohorts of up to 200 people. There must be at least two metres distance between the cohorts and there must be at least one metre between the participants in each cohort.
At sporting events for people under the age of 20, everyone present, including participants, shall be counted in the total number of people. This includes parents and guardians.
At "open events" that often take place outdoors, such as pop-up concerts, the rules for events also apply. If these events are to be carried out, the event area must be physically delimited (within a fenced area, an area surrounded by barricades etc.) Delimitation is necessary to be able to limit the number of participants and be able to register participants to have an overview of who is present.
Number of participants at events that last over time
For events that last for a longer time, cohorts with up to 200 participants can be replaced during the day. The cohorts must be changed in a way that meets infection control requirements and there must be no contact between the cohorts. Employees and organisers can be the same for multiple cohorts.
Employees and others in addition to the number of participants
The following people should not be included in the total number of people who may be present at the event:
a) employees and contractors who are responsible for the implementation of events.
b) performers carrying out cultural activities under the direction of a professional actor
c) top athletes, support staff and referees when conducting sporting events
d) players, support staff and referees when conducting league matches in elite football (football league) that the Norwegian Football Association has decided are ready to follow the association's infection control protocols prepared in collaboration with the Norwegian Directorate of Health.
Arrangement with fixed designated seats
The term "fixed, designated seats" is used to regulate the number of people who may be present at an event. This means that the audience can sit on a chair, bench or similar, or in a fixed place on the floor during the entire event. The following criteria should be present at such events:
- The audience sits in fixed, designated, possibly numbered places with a sufficient distance (at least 1 metre).
- The spaces should be placed to avoid face-to-face contact.
- The audience participates as spectators and is not active in the event itself. There is limited mingling / interaction between the participants before and after the event and during possible breaks.
- When serving food and drink, it must be carried out in a responsible manner to maintain infection control and avoid congestion.
- The use of guards if it is necessary to ensure proper infection control management.
The term "fixed seats" is used to regulate the distance between people. Fixed seats are typically seats found in cinemas, theatres, stadiums etc. In rooms where chairs or benches can be moved, a requirement of at least 1 metre distance between people applies.
- One vacant seat between fixed seats between spectators in the same row of seats will be considered a sufficient distance.
- People from the same household or equivalent close contacts can sit together.
- It is not possible for people to sit in more than half of the fixed seats, unless everyone can keep at least 1 metre distance in all directions to people in another household.
Exemptions from distance requirements
Children and young people who are in the same cohort in childcare centre or primary school are exempt from the distance requirement for events. Some other groups can also be exempt from the distance requirement at an event if it is necessary for the activity to be carried out normally, see the COVID-19 regulations §13 c for which groups are exempt.
No exemptions can be made from the distance requirement for the audience or spectators at the event. The exemption only applies during the ongoing activity, and it is important that the participants relate to each other according to the current infection control advice.
Requirements of the organiser
A person or company must be appointed as the organiser with responsibility for the event meeting the requirements of the COVID-19 regulations. Those who are present must be informed about who is the organiser and who can be contacted with questions about infection control.
The organiser is responsible for:
- having an overview of who is present, in order to assist the municipality in the event of subsequent contact tracing. If it is necessary to make a list of participants with contact details for this purpose, this should be deleted after 14 days. The organiser shall inform those present that an overview is being made.
- implementing measures to ensure that people who are sick do not participate in the event
- following relevant standards for infection control
- ensuring that distance requirements, licensing decisions and infection control advice are followed throughout the event, if necessary with the use of guards.
For events licensed to serve alcohol, these must be followed:
- serving of alcohol only takes place with table service
- serving of alcohol only to those who are served food
- serving ends at 22.00.
- consumption of alcoholic beverages ends no later than 22.30.
- guests not admitted after 22.00.
Events that are not included in the regulations about events
Flea markets to generate income for voluntary organisations are not included in the regulations for events. However, the general requirements of at least one metre distance between people who are not in the same household and good hygiene should be maintained when flea markets are arranged.
General measures to reduce transmission risk
Planning and risk assessment
All organisers need to make a plan to ensure good infection control management. As an organiser, you must have sufficient capacity and resources for good implementation.
The organiser must carry out a risk assessment and decide whether it is justifiable to hold the event. Therefore, it is important to read the current advice for infection control. See the table for risk assessments below.
For larger events, contact the local health authorities for questions about implementation. The organiser should make a risk assessment and make an implementation plan before meeting with local health authorities. Together with the local healthcare service, a plan should be made for how the suspected infected people shall be handled. Assess the consequences for people who become ill or close contacts who depend on flights or public transport for travel home. For these, there may be a need for isolation / quarantine in hotels.
In the case of "open events", the organiser should, in addition to planning for the event itself, also consider the risk that the event will attract a larger number of people outside the limited area and whether this will involve a risk of transmission.
Information to employees and participants
- Provide information in advance that people with symptoms of respiratory tract infection should not attend the event. This also applies to people who are in home isolation or quarantine. See Social distance, quarantine and isolation
- Provide information about
- general hygiene advice (for example, posters)
- symptoms of illness and what participants / performers / audiences should do if they develop symptoms and where to go (e.g., posters). See When you suspect that you have COVID-19 disease
Assessing the venue
Participants must be able to keep a distance of 1 metre throughout the entire event, so you must assess the available area within the premises you will use. As a rule of thumb, estimate 4 m2 per person. In rooms where people will sit during the event (e.g. at a table or in a hall), the space requirement may be somewhat smaller.
Singing / shouting among the audience can lead to increased droplet secretion (spit) and therefore an increased risk of infection, so take this into account when assessing the space requirement.
Rooms with poor ventilation and high occupancy can increase the risk of transmission, particularly when many people are gathered. A normal ventilation level is recommended, with normal maintenance of the ventilation system. Increasing the level of ventilation in an already well ventilated room can potentially increase the transmission risk. Where there is no mechanical ventilation, open the windows before and during the event.
Measures to limit contact
Avoid congestion where participants are expected to form queues or gather in groups. Examples of measures include:
- Clear marking (e.g. tape on the floor, marks on the ground etc.)
- Staggered meeting times/different meeting places, clearly marked with colour-coded signs or tape, etc.
- Divide participants into smaller groups to reduce the number of contacts. This will aid work with subsequent contact tracing and prevents too many people being followed up with testing or quarantine.
- Consider having guards to maintain infection control measures.
Events with congregational singing
People with COVID-19 patients throw out droplets and particles from their mouth and nose that may contain virus. The droplets have different sizes, and the number excreted varies depending on how they breathe or use their voice. The amount of droplets increases during physical activity, when coughing or sneezing and when singing or shouting. Singing among the participants at events, for example in churches and other denominations, can therefore lead to increased droplet secretion and increased risk of infection.
It is recommended to arrange for a distance of 2 metres between people who will sing together indoors in areas with increased transmission.
Outdoors, at least 1 metre distance is sufficient.
People from the same household can sit / stand together.
Hand hygiene and cough etiquette
- Good capacity for hand hygiene, either hand washing with soap and water or alcohol-based hand disinfectant. This is especially important for toilet areas and for dining areas. See
- Increased focus on cleaning (for example, food service areas, toilets and frequent touch points). See Cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service
- If the event includes activities where equipment is shared, see Cleaning and disinfection for COVID-19 in sectors outside the healthcare service
Tools for organisers
As an aid to the organisers, a template has been developed for risk assessment of events and a checklist to ensure that infection control measures are in place.
Download the template for risk assessment and checklist in Word or pdf:
- Risk assessment of events (Word)
- Risk assessment of events (PDF)
- Checklist for good infection control at events (Word)
- Checklist for good infection control at events.pdf (PDF)
Events at venues serving food and drink
See the guidelines for evaluating events in restaurants and bars on the Norwegian Directorate of Health's website.
Events and activities of longer duration for children and adolescents
Vaccination and implications for planning of future events and gatherings
It is continuously assessed how the measures to prevent the spread of infection can be adapted to the development of the pandemic. It is still uncertain how the measures will change in the months ahead when larger parts of the population have been vaccinated.